I've said this before, when my husband travels, I don't cook. I subside on snacks, coffee, and fruit and then I start feeling guilty and gross, so I make a declaration that I will eat veggies and actually cook a real, hot, healthy meal! This dish was a result of that particular situation. Thank goodness for the Whole Foods near me, because I was able to buy pre-cut organic veggies which forced me to cook them right away to prevent their inevitable and quick deliquescence (don't you love that word?).
I wan't planning on making a blog post about this prep, but holy schmoly, it was so incredibly good, I had to share. Sorry for the indoor lighting on the photos; it was around 8 pm before I was able to sit down to have dinner. I can also imagine that this would be really good baked as a casserole. I'm going to have to try that next!
Fusilli with Spicy Butternut Squash and Pepita Sauce & Bacon Recipe
serves 1-2; vegan, vegetarian, sauce is gluten-free (use GF pasta or even rice and omit gluten bacon)
(Note: Since I was not planning on making a recipe, all measurement are approximate, but as always, I suggest you tailor recipes to suit your tastes anyway!)
- 1-1.5 cups of chopped butternut squash
- olive oil for the baking pan
- 1 TB sesame seeds
- 1/8 cup raw, green pepitas (walnuts would also be acceptable)
- 1/2 TB olive oil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional: I use a little organic turmeric in everything for its health benefits.)
- 1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt
- few dashes of cracked black pepper
- pinch or more of red pepper flakes (Adjust this to your tastes.)
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp of nutritional yeast or couple of dashes of faux-parmesan (optional)
- 1 cup of cooked pasta (Fusilli is perfect for a recipe with a thick sauce like this. Whole wheat works great as well!)
- Toppings: Chopped, fried veggie bacon (I used Lightlife Smart Bacon) and finely chopped, steam collard greens. (You could use kale, spinach or chard as well.)
- Preheat oven to 425. In a small baking dish, drizzle olive oil over butternut squash. Cover with foil, and place in oven for about 30 minutes or until squash is soft. Alternatively, you cold steam the squash, but roasting really enhances the sweetness and flavor.
- In the meantime, cook your pasta of choice in salted water, steam collards, and fry bacon in the meantime.
- Place your pepitas (set a a few aside for the garnish of your final plating) and sesame seeds on a baking sheet and in the last 5 minutes of the squash baking, place them in the oven. Remove both when done. The seeds should be fragrant, but not overly cooked. They should start to brown, but not get dark.
- In a small food processor, add olive oil, rosemary, turmeric, salt, black and red pepper, nooch, sugar, parm, and cooked and still warm squash. Purée until the sauce is well combined. I liked mine a bit chunky, so I did not blend until it was smooth. If you like it smooth, blend until your hearts content!
- Mix pasta with sauce and plate. Top with fried bacon and greens and sprinkle extra pepitas on top. Perfectly healthy comfort food!